CAPE TOWN – No matter the industry, size or location of a business, they all have essential financial management requirements. 

From start-ups that need basic accounting solutions and guidance on compliance, to multinational corporates with fully-fledged financial departments delving into the viability of every expense and how to optimise every profit. 

At the crux of these vital processes are accountants.

This is according to QuickBooks director of marketing: global expansion, Brandon Wilson, who said with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in full swing, business and accountancy leaders should be investigating how new technologies can enhance the productivity and efficiency of these professionals even further.

“Accountants hold the key to your financial breakthrough. They save businesses time; keep cash-flow in check; offer advice on auditing, tax and legal matters; and ensure financial reporting deadlines are fulfilled. With greater support, it’s safe to say that the possibilities for business are endless,” he said.

Wilson highlighted that accountants today should be drawn on for their specialist insights and advice that inform strategic and operational decisions rather than just for basic, yet time-consuming, financial and bookkeeping needs.

He said: “This is where accounting software tools have added a lot of value in recent years, increasing productivity and accuracy relating to the more mundane accounting tasks while freeing up the professionals to tackle critical thinking exercises.” 

Wilson shares how accountants can leverage today’s technology to do so whilst driving business success:

Accounting software basics

With invoicing, reporting and inventory management capabilities, simple online accounting software solutions such as those developed by QuickBooks provide start-ups, SMEs and smaller financial teams working with tighter budgets with the option to streamline and fast-track traditional bookkeeping processes. 

The artificial intelligence (AI) behind these solutions - such as the QuickBooks Online Accountant - also detect errors immediately, ensuring that a company’s books are always accurate.

Access, apps and automation

For businesses looking to optimise their financial processes even further, accounting software support applications such as those provided by QuickBooks partners, Draftworx and AutoEntry, integrate with QuickBooks’ localised online solutions.

Draftworx, an automated drafting and working paper financial software application, ensures that accountants are only ever a click away from financial statements and working papers, to audit methodologies, collaboration tools and digital signatures.

AutoEntry - an automated data entry software application - captures, analyses and posts invoices, receipts and statements directly to QuickBooks online accounting solutions.

Not only do these solutions save accountants on time and ensure greater accuracy and accessibility, they also tap into the power of cloud technology.

The cloud for big data

Cloud accounting is the use of accounting software where both the software and the data is stored online. The benefits of this kind of solution include improved security, seamless software updates, easy access, opportunity for remote collaboration, and significantly greater scalability to meet big data demand.

QuickBooks' cloud-based software, for example, can perform large-scale accounting tasks that would be virtually impossible for humans to complete in a timely manner. Utilising cloud storage also allows business and accounting colleagues to log in simultaneously and work directly with real time data online.

Wilson says, “Technology that makes our lives easier is becoming ever more advanced across all aspects of our lives. AI is definitely setting the tone in this regard, especially for the future of accountancy.”

“Rather than replacing accountants, these innovative technologies are able to support industry professionals in providing businesses with greater value and a competitive advantage. With this in mind, and with affordable solutions on the market, accountants should be encouraged to embrace the evolution of their role,” he concludes.

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